The Straits Times
Published on Dec 12, 2012

American detained in North Korea


WASHINGTON (AFP) - An American citizen has been detained by the communist authorities in North Korea, a country that has no diplomatic ties with the United States, a US official said on Tuesday.

"We're obviously aware of these reports that a US citizen has been detained in North Korea. We obviously have no higher priority than the welfare of our citizens," State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said.

But she refused to go into details citing privacy concerns, adding only that the embassy of Sweden usually acts on behalf of Washington to interact with Pyongyang on any issues involving Americans in the isolated state.

According to the South Korean newspaper Kookmin Ilbo, quoted by Yonhap news agency, a 44-year-old Korean-American tour operator was detained in early November as he entered the northeastern port of Rajin.